Former law minister and Congress leader Ashwani Kumar on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court's decision that states cannot exercise statutory power to remit sentences of convicts, tried under central laws and probed by central agencies like the CBI without consulting the Centre.
"These are decisions that of course have to be taken in accordance with the law and the Supreme Court is right in interpreting the law that it has. But also the entire sentiment and emotion of the nation was involved," Kumar told the media here.
"Therefore, the Supreme Court is also untouched by the correct interpretation of the law considering that these are extraordinary cases and they have to be dealt in with a very larger vision of the law," he added.
The apex court, while settling the constitutional issues that had arisen out of the Tamil Nadu government's decision to set free the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, said that though the states have power to grant remission, they cannot exercise it suo motu.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu also said that the Centre will have primacy in granting remission to convicts in cases registered under central law and probed by central agencies like the CBI.
The bench referred to a three-judge bench the factual and legal aspects of grant of remission to convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The apex court had on February 20 last year stayed the Tamil Nadu Government's decision to release three convicts -- Murugan, Santhan and Arivu -- whose death sentence had been commuted to life term by it.
The court had later also stayed the release of four other convicts, saying there were procedural lapses on part of the state government.